ST. LOUIS — Throughout 2022, 5 On Your Side covered dozens of stories on gun violence that resulted in the death or injury of children and teenagers in St. Louis.
According to 5 On Your Side data, 140 children under the age of 17 were victims of gun violence in 2022 in the St. Louis area of Missouri and Illinois. Eighteen of them died.
Gun Violence Archive also tracked the incidents where children and teens were injured or killed after a shooting. Their data included those injured or killed in a home or in a community.
According to Gun Violence Archive, gun violence injuries and deaths among children increased by 5% from 2021 to 2022.
This is a look back at how many teens and children the City of St. Louis lost and the parents, guardians, communities, public safety officials and politicians who are affected by these series of events.
In March, police said 16-year-old Terrion Smith, of north St. Louis, was fatally shot in the lobby of a Washington Avenue loft building in the city’s Downtown West neighborhood.
Sixth-grader LaFrance Johnson was shot and killed while visiting his aunt’s house in an unintentional shooting on April 1. Johnson’s 10-year-old brother found a gun on a bed in the home, and it went off. The aunt was charged in connection with the shooting. He was 12 years old.
Sixteen-year-old Kyierah Jeffries, a high school student in Eureka, was fatally shot in the stomach in south St. Louis in May. Jefferies died from her injuries shortly after emergency crews arrived.
A 13-year-old was killed, and three other teens were injured after a drive-by shooting in the Washington Park community of St. Clair County. Johnny McCline, a Mason/Clark Middle School student, was shot and killed. The other students survived their injuries.
In August, a teen was shot in the head and killed at the St. Louis Gateway Transportation Center in downtown St. Louis.
In September, a 16-year-old was shot and killed by St. Louis police at a gas station. The teen was identified as Darryl Ross.
In December, a teen was found fatally shot in downtown St. Louis. Police found the 14-year-old suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The victim was identified as Lamarion Davis.
Two-year-old Isreal Whirley was shot and killed at a local AutoZone on South Kingshighway Boulevard after he picked up a gun and it accidentally fired. He was shot in the head. The father of the child was arrested.
One-year-old Khori Patterson was accidentally shot dead after he picked up and played with a gun at a home in St. Louis. He was shot in the head. Alea Little, 24, and her boyfriend, Donnell Straughter, 30, were both charged with child endangerment.
In June, a 4-year-old picked up and played with a gun at the 10400 block of Olney Drive. He accidentally killed himself. Matthew Watson-Cook, the gun owner, was charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Makahyah Griffin, 17, was shot and killed in the 5200 block of Natural Bridge on July 4. Police identified the suspect as Ali Hussain and charged him.
Dimari Chapple, 17, was shot and killed in St. Louis' Downtown West neighborhood.
Tony Montana Fingers, 17, was shot dead in the 3600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue in the Gravois Park area in October. Fingers' death marked the 164th total homicide of 2022.
Mark Jordan, 17, was killed in March. He was known to most as "MJ" or "Jizzle." According to a GoFundMe, his family said he had so much potential and he was very dear to their hearts.
As a result of a mass shooting at Central Visual Performing Arts High School in St. Louis in October 15-year-old Alexzandria Bell was shot and killed.
There were more than 149 children hurt by gunfire. Here are some of their stories.
- In January, police found a 14-year-old suffering from a graze wound and a 17-year-old suffering from a gunshot wound to her leg due to an accidental shooting at the 3100 block of Michigan Avenue.
- In February, a group of people showed up at the hospital in a bullet-damaged car where a 16-year-old and 17-year-old were shot. The 16-year-old was shot in the abdomen. The 17-year-old was shot in the ankle. Police said guns were recovered from the car.
In May alone, there were five or more shootings that resulted in the injury of a child under the age of 17. That is one child injured by gunfire per week.
In May, police said a 14-year-old girl was shot, and the St. Louis Fire Department said the glass grazed a 3-month-old boy, but his injuries were not life-threatening.
In May, a 3-year-old was injured after a shooting at the 2500 block of Harriet Walk.
A shooting at St. Louis Avenue and North Kingshighway Boulevard in May left an 8-year-old injured.
In May, an 11-year-old was injured after being shot in the torso while taking out the trash at the 3200 block of Nebraska Avenue.
In June, police went to an incident where a group of juveniles was running on 8th and 9th Streets away from a shooting near Chestnut Street. Police found two girls, a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old, suffering from gunshot wounds in the thigh.
In August, a 15-year-old girl was shot in the arm.
In November, a 14-year-old boy and a 16-year-old boy were both hospitalized after a shooting in the parking lot of a BP gas station on West Florissant Avenue near Park Lane after committing a car theft.
That same month, detectives investigated a shooting in north St. Louis, which wounded a teen. The 16-year-old boy was struck in the abdomen.
In December, a 14-year-old boy was shot and killed in the 5300 block of Northland Avenue. He was found shot in the head.
In August, a 2-year-old was shot and injured at the 4300 block of Michigan Avenue after finding and playing with a gun. He shot himself in the foot.
A 6-year-old was injured after a shooting this summer on the 5900 block of Lalite Avenue. The child found and played with a gun and accidentally shot himself in the leg.
In January, an 8-year-old was shot and injured at the 3700 block of Minnesota Avenue. The child was struck in the ankle by gunfire while playing in south St. Louis.
In January, an 11-year-old was shot and injured at Bessie Avenue and Shreve Avenue. The child was shot in the arm during a family gathering.
A 4-year-old was shot inside a home in April in St. Louis County. Police described the injury as a graze wound to his arm. The police investigation led officers to a home on the 11900 block of Rio Grande Drive in Spanish Lake.
A 9-year-old boy was one of two people shot on April 1 on the city’s north side, which marked the fourth time a child was injured or killed by gunfire in St. Louis. The police said the boy was shot while walking on the 4300 block of Florissant Avenue.
In October alone, more than five shootings involved teenagers in the City of St. Louis.
In October, two teenage girls were shot in an alley near Compton Avenue and Gasconade Street. St. Louis police said both were 14 years old.
In October, a teenage boy was shot after “play fighting” with his 18-year-old cousin in St. Louis’ Kingsway West neighborhood. He is 13 years old.
A 16-year-old boy was shot while running away from a suspect after a car crash in October. A 12-year-old was the boy and was uninjured, however; he did mark his face from falling while running away.
Two teenagers were hospitalized following a shooting in the 8900 block of Riverview Boulevard. A 17-year-old was shot in the stomach, and a 16-year-old was shot in the ankle.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department told 5 On Your Side they believe "solution-based" efforts require collaborative efforts with the community.
They referred us to the city's Office of Violence Prevention, with a host of community organizations tasked with helping to address violent crime and violence among youth.
Here is a list of initiatives the office is currently working on:
Cure Violence is an international organization that has recently launched in a handful of St. Louis neighborhoods. Violence interrupters are trained to de-escalate violent situations within their own communities.
Crisis Response builds upon existing emergency services such as 911, with an aim to prioritize the use of non-law enforcement responses and interventions when most appropriate to address the social, health, and mental health needs of individuals and communities.
Community Violence Intervention (CVI) is a program that focuses on reducing homicides and shootings by establishing relationships with people at the center of gun violence in our communities.
Supportive Re-Entry is meant to deliver support to individuals in the criminal legal system in a trauma-informed, anti-racist, evidence-based, client-centered, participatory, community-driven, and collaborative fashion.
We reached out to local aldermanic offices where several of these gun-related incidents happened involving children. They have not provided a response at this time.
Below is a geographical map of the series of gun-related killings and injuries among children and teens in the St. Louis area.